More detail on this person: Major Robert James
Bell, a true patriot, an officer and a gentleman,
passed away Sat., August 9, 2014, at 3:30pm at
Medical Center Hospital. He fought a long and hard
battle with bravery, as he did in the service he
gave to his country! His loving wife, Orpha Lee
Bell, was at his side, as well as "good friends."
Bob was born in Fairfield, Iowa, by his parents, Ella and Royal Bell, who preceded him in death.
"Bob," as his friends referred to him, was a talented and versatile aviator in three wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He dreamed of being an army pilot as he grew up an Iowa farm boy. He got his chance to fly in the "Wild Blue Yonder" because of the coming of the 1939-1945 WWII. He learned to fly almost every type of plane there was, including the Sikorsky CH-3 Jolly Green Giant helicopter, the P-40 Warhawk and the PT19, as well as the KC135. Bob was assigned to the Strategic Air Command during the Vietnam War. Bob loved to tell stories of his experiences during his "war years" and he could spell-bound you quickly. His fellow CAF Colonels at Odessa based CAF Desert Squadron held "Bell" in high esteem, as Bob loved all of them. He recently was honored as an inductee into the American Combat Airmen Hall of Fame with others at the CAF Airshow in 2013.
Bob was a member of the Sherwood Church of Christ and a Christian. He seldom met a man he did not like.
Bob is survived by his wife, Lee Bell of Odessa; son, Gregory of Denver, CO; daughters, Marisue Bell, Linny Miller of Tuscon, AZ; son, Tim Bell of Arizona; step-daughter, Shelby Smithee of Denver, CO; two grandsons, Harrison and Brian Bell of Denver; a sister, Betty Cottrell of Wyoming; a brother, Troy of Arizona; step-grandson, Brian Graf serving in Afghanistan, and step-granddaughters, Melanie Graf and Natalie White of Denver.
Bob loved to laugh and joke around with all his comrades. He loved old movies, especially war movies, and all John Wayne movies. Bob and his wife, Lee, have been married for 26 years. He will be greatly missed by her and all his dear friends, especially the CAF members of the Odessa squadron.
Family will receive friends from 6-8pm Tuesday, August 12, 2014, at Frank W. Wilson Funeral Directors.
Funeral service will be at 11am Wednesday, August 13, 2014, at Frank W. Wilson Funeral Chapel with Lynn Money officiating.
Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Services are entrusted to Frank W. Wilson Funeral Directors.
Published in Odessa American on Aug. 12, 2014
This information was last updated 05/18/2016
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 01/08/2023
Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association